Arsenal boss Unai Emery says he will not let their last year’s result against Liverpool get to him and the team.
The two clubs last met in December 2018. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles provided Arsenal with an initial lead during the eleventh minute of the game, that goal was followed by two of Firmino’s, one of Mane’s, Salah’s penalty goal and finally the completion of Firmino’s hat-trick, which resulted in Arsenal’s devastating 5-1 defeat.
Emery thinks that each season is different and that looking at and comparing this one to that one, two, three or more years ago is not the right thing to do, but rather to be and play at this moment.
Although the Spaniard is aware of the advantage Liverpool have over them, especially being one step ahead of them in terms of strength, Emery finds comfort in the fact that that advantage is not limited only to Arsenal.
“We need to go there with our best performance, with feeling and also thinking we can achieve. To be strong, to have our chances and we are looking to go there and show that.”
As far as his team’s readiness goes, he says he is “more positive” with some players, but that he will wait until Friday to decide who will play in the Saturday’s game, because “things may change” from day to day.
Today (Thursday) was the first day Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka returned to training this season, the first due to an illness (following the security issues related to an attempted robbery) and the latter after struggling with a leg injury.
The 47-year-old manager will wait until tomorrow’s training to assess the fitness levels of his players. If Ozil were to take part in Saturday’s match, it would be his first appearance in the 2019/2020 season.
This is Emery’s the second season at Arsenal and according to Martin Keown, the Gunners’ ex-defender, the manager is undertaking an important yet difficult task of restoring balance to the team. Keown claims the defence is still the squad’s Achilles heel particularly away from home, but he is confident that things will take a turn for the better now that Nicholas Peppe is part of the team.